Sunday, June 26, 2011

An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn - 1 out of 5

When a movie is called "one of the worst films of all time," a morbid curiosity within myself all but requires me to see it. I love bad films and when I see one of these truly terrible ones, I always hope that it's bad on special level where it is hilarious. Sadly, I didn't find that with An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn.

For those who don't know, Alan Smithee is a pseudonym registered by the Directors Guild of America to be used if a director feels the movie he has participated in has been changed so much to the point he no longer wants to be associated with the production. But what if there really was a director named Alan Smithee? That's basically the thin premise that this movie builds on and follows a editor turned director named Alan Smithee as he is hired to direct a action film starring Sylvester Stallone, Whoopi Goldberg and Jackie Chan called Trio (Yeah, the movie is asking you to really suspend disbelief when they try and sell Goldberg as an action star--of course, I really don't see Chan as an action star either, but that's just me). Well, the studio interferes and Smithee doesn't like the final cut of the film so he steals the master print and disappears, threatening to burn it. The film is presented in a mockumentary format as it interviews all the players involved in this scenario as they attempt to find Smithee and save the film.

First off, this movie is suppose to be a comedy but it is, at no point, EVER funny. The jokes feel like they were written by a comedian the studio found at an open mic--and it was the guy's first time on stage and only wrote the jokes he used that night while taking an extra long shit in the morning. I actually found myself feeling sorry for Eric Idle having to play the fed-up director, Smithee. The poor funny man had nothing in the script to work with. However, this film is interesting for a few reasons. Number One) This film cost nearly 10 million dollars to make and while it was in the theaters, couldn't gross 50 thousand dollars. According to Wikipedia, when adjusting for inflation, is less than what Plan 9 from Outer Space made while it was released. Number Two) This film was apart of a series of events that lead to the Directors Guild of America no longer registering the name Alan Smithee and is no longer used for films where directors no longer want to be credited in. But the most interesting fact about this film is the fact that this film, an example of art imitating life, became so massacred in the editing room by the studio that the real director, Arthur Hiller actually took his name off the credits and the credit went to Alan Smithee. At first you would think this was an gag but Hiller claims that he was absolutely disgusted with the way the film came out. As interesting as these facts are, they're not enough to give reason to watching this piece of crap.

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